Unaware of the grave danger, the continued increase in carbon dioxide emissions and the rapid global warming will likely extinct all humans, an Australian scientist warns.
For now with the ongoing war and covid at the top of the agenda, the effort to fight global warming seems further away as the days go by.
Australian scientist Glikson is an Earth and Paleo-climate scientist at the Australian National University.
Based on his findings, the alarming signs are obvious that a major extinction is coming our way, bigger than the one that extinct the dinosaurs.
Glikson based his findings of other points in history when mass extinction took place, like the dinosaur era that happened around 66 million years ago, as well as another one that took place 55 million years ago.
In both catastrophes, Glikson found that there was a rapid increase in carbon emissions before they happened.
“My research suggests the current growth rate of carbon dioxide emissions is faster than those which triggered two previous mass extinctions, including the event that wiped out the dinosaurs,” he said.
WHAT HAPPENED 66 MILLION YEARS AGO TO CAUSE DINOSAURS TO PERISH?
Sixty-six million years ago, dinosaurs had the ultimate bad day. With a devastating asteroid impact, a reign that had lasted 180 million years was abruptly ended. The result of smashed rocks and fires emitted huge amounts of carbon dioxide over a period of 10,000 years. Similar to today, global temperatures soared and sea levels rose.
Oceans also became acidic and approximately 80% of species became extinct, including the dinosaurs.
Researchers have discovered another period, around 55 million years ago, when massive volcanic eruptions pumped so much carbon into the atmosphere that the planet warmed at what geologists would think of as breakneck speed.
The good news is that most plants and animals survived the catastrophe. Even after carbon levels returned to their previous levels, the climate took 200,000 years to return to normal.
COMPARING TODAY’S NUMBERS TO THE PREVIOUS EXTINCTION PERIODS
Before the industrial age at the end of 18th century, carbon dioxide levels were about 300 parts per million. Now they are more than 414.72 parts per million.
Carbon dioxide concentrations have increased substantially since the beginning of the industrial era, rising from an annual average of 280 ppm in the late 1700s to 414 ppm in 2021 (average of five sites in Figure 1)— a 48 percent increase.
According to Glikson’s article, “carbon dioxide is now pouring into the atmosphere at a rate of two to three parts per million each year.
“Using carbon records stored in fossils and organic matter. I have determined that current carbon emissions constitute an extreme event in the recorded history of Earth,” he continued.
“My research has demonstrated that annual carbon dioxide emissions are now faster than after both the asteroid impact that eradicated the dinosaurs (about 0.18 parts per million CO2 per year), and the thermal maximum 55 million years ago (about 0.11 parts per million CO2 per year).”
He also points out that we are going in the wrong direction and it’s just a matter of ‘when’.
Glikson believes that the mass extinction is avoidable if we dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions and by developing technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
But he also cautions that ‘on the current trajectory, human activity threatens to make large parts of the Earth uninhabitable. A planetary tragedy of our own making.’